According to Complex, Javonnta Murphy was an aspiring musician living in Los Angeles and hoping to break into the music industry. The Los Angeles Times reported the 32-year-old’s remains were discovered at Malibu Lagoon State Beach by an on-duty lifeguard who spotted the 55-gallon canister in the ocean and went to remove it from the water on July 31. He saw a naked body inside when he opened it. The body was taken to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner, who identified the body to be Murphy’s.
At this time, officials aren’t sure how long the barrel was at sea, and they do not have any information regarding what led to Murphy’s death. When the 32-year-old’s father, Javonnie Murphy, spoke with NBC Los Angeles, he said he last spent time with his son on July 27, just days before his body was recovered.
“I’m a strong Black man, but this, this is hurtful. I just want to know why. He didn’t deserve it,” Javonnie said. “They were trying to get rid of him. They put him in a thing like that and threw him in the ocean. They were trying to get rid of him.”
In addition, Javonnie told NBC his son liked to work out regularly while working to advance his music career. He also recalled how Murphy was a good kid that didn’t give him a hard time as a parent during his childhood and teen years. Furthermore, he was respected and admired by his siblings. He also had a message for those involved in his son’s death:
“It just broke the whole family down. We are all hurting right now,” he said. “We’re all hurting, and we want justice… The only thing I can say is you have got to answer to the man upstairs. You have got to answer to Him upstairs.”
At the moment, authorities do not have a lead on the culprit(s), but they claimed the barrel came from a printing company.